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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cooking 4 Guys - Sweet and Sour Whatever

Does anyone remember when sweet and sour included onion, peppers, even pickles and pineapple? When it wasn't just tempura coated meat with a red goopy sauce? I do, and I used to make it in my wok, years ago. Here is the easiest way to make this for yourself at home.

Sweet and Sour Sauce, a third cup of white or rice vinegar (I use a mixture of vinegar and the juice from the pickles, see below) a quarter cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of ketchup, a teaspoon of soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of corn starch mixed with 4 teaspoons of water for thickening.
Veggies, white onion, bell peppers, carrots, and sweet pickles (I like to use gherkins) and of course pineapple chunks.
Your choice of meat, chicken, pork, shrimp, or a combination of all of the above.
A couple of tablespoons of corn starch.
All in one pancake mix (or a funnel cake mix)
A can of beer
Oil for deep frying and for stir frying
Garlic to taste if you want

Mix the pancake mix with the required amount of liquid being beer instead of milk or water. Let that sit for a while. You should have part of a can of beer, at least a couple of swallows left to enjoy.
The sauce, you can do it the easy way and buy a bottle or you can make it at home. It is not far off from a barbque sauce which I am sure many have done before. Mix the vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce and heat. Let it get to just before it boils. Mix the corn starch with the water and when the sauce starts to bubble, take it off the heat and add the corn starch mix, and stir to let it mix, and thicken. If it's too thick you can add the juice from the pineapple chunks for added flavor.
Cut your veggies into bite sized squares, the carrots, slice about a quarter inch thick, and the pickles either as slices or chunks if using gherkins. the pineapple is already out of the can.
Take the meat and if using chicken or pork cut it into bite sized pieces. Place the meat into a sandwich bag with corn starch in it. Close the bag and shake it to coat the pieces of meat.
Heat the fryer oil either in a fryer of some sort, or a deep pan heavy enough to fry in.
Take the meat, I like to use a toothpick, dip the meat into the pancake mix to coat, and place it into the fry oil in batches to cook.
Let the meat cook until the coating is golden brown, especially with the pork and chicken, take out a piece and cut it open to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
In a wok or fry pan, add a coating of oil, let it heat until you can feel it coming off the pan. Add the garlic if you are using it, swirl it around for 30 seconds to a minute. Add the onions, and carrots, cook them for a minute, then the add peppers, and the pickles and pineapple chunks. Let the veggies get as they say, tender crisp. You want them heated through but still crisp. Add the meat to the veggies in the pan and let them cook for a minute or two to heat everything up. The next step is your choice, either place the meat and veggies on a plate and serve the sauce on the side, or pour the sauce in the pan onto the meat and veggies. If you cook it together, let the sauce heat in the pan for only a minute so it doesn't start to soak into the coating on the meat too much.
Serve with whatever rice you like with your chinese.

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